Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
the Red Dragon
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
the Red Dragon
 Quality in a small package
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
the Red Dragon
 Quality in a small package
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
the Red Dragon
 Quality in a small package


From heat to birth

The heat

The first heat of a bitch takes place somewhere between 7 and 15 months. This is per bitch and can not be predicted. Often the same bitches are waiting for each other and one bitch will run earlier and the other bitch will be running later. The between-run periods can also close from 4 to 9 months. This has nothing to do with the fertility of the bitch.

A normal heat

The period of heat can be divided into three different phases. As a start of the heat with the pro-oestrus, that is to say that a red bleed starts, generally starts with a few drops and gradually becomes more intense. The outflow is very dark red to almost black colored and slowly takes part in intensity until the color is very light pink. The vulva of the bitch begins to swell, with the highlight being the day that the graft is, the swelling decreases manually. This phase is harmful per bitch but can be given between day and night. During this period, a number of oocytes are matured under the influence of the F.S.H. (Follicle Stimulating Hormone). The body is going to produce the follicle hormone - better known as estrogen - a change occurs from the uterine wall. The uterine wall, the vagina and the vulva thicken through the blood vessels in the uterus and the vaginal wall creates the red discharge. At the end of the pro-oestrus, the bitch starts to become attractive for males, but will not yet allow a cover. After this phase, the bitch comes in the second period of heat, the estrus. The follicles have ripened and burst open; ovulation has begun. The lifespan of an egg cell is about six hours, but not all egg cells are digital mature.

A split heat

With normal heat, it lasts for an average of 21 days and the bitch is covered somewhere between day 10 and 15. But it also happens that a bitch is a couple of days of running and then stops for a week, of several weeks 2 weeks, later on to regain the heat. It also happens that a bitch has a much longer duration of runtime and the maturity also takes place much later in this period. Often the increase in progesterone levels will become willing and around a day of 12, but then the progesterone will be challenged, it will stop, no ovulation will take place. We call this a split loop. If the breeder does not notice this, the bitch will be covered around this 12th day and remain empty. If a week later the weather will be willing, the breeder will be able to overlook that. Many a bitch has remained empty in this way. It is advisable to have the progesterone level tested and, if in doubt, to reduce again at the moment the bitch continues to stand. Not only to have the bitch covered again, but also to prevent unwanted coverages. There are sufficient coverings 24, 24 hours, counting from day 1 of the heat. Especially when you have to ride for the male, a progesteron test is recommended. It is also wise to make a smear with a bacterial infection (E-coli) in the uterus. The bitch will then receive an antibiotic cure (a 10-day cure) from the vet that stopped before the restriction takes place, even if the treatment has not yet been completed.

The mating
During the whole oestrus period the oocytes can ovulate and the bitch will allow the male. This period also differs per bitch. One bitch will allow the male for about three days, the other keeps it within a day. Coatings by different males during this period can produce puppies from different sires. During this period the body starts to form another hormone, progesterone. A correct time for the cover can be obtained by blood testing at the bitch. The vet will take a small amount of blood every other day to measure the progesterone level. This research can be very useful if the bitch has to be far away for cover or if the external (behavioral) characteristics are difficult to see. In the case of bitches which have remained empty at an earlier level (i.e. have not become pregnant), this method is advisable, because the emptying remains to be dealt with at a wrong time of coverage. After a successful coverage the dog and bitch remain coupled. Linking from one cover to another is also different in duration and can vary from a few minutes to as much as 45 minutes and longer. Even if 2 dogs do not pair after a cover, the bitch can be fertilized and get a normal litter, but a good link still offers more security.

Eventually the bitch ends up in the last phase of the heat, the met-oestrus. At this moment there is a large concentration of progesterone in the body. This hormone promotes a possible pregnancy: the uterine wall is prepared for the implantation of the fruit, the muscle tension of the uterus decreases and in collaboration with prolactin it ensures a beginning development of the mammary glands.
even kennis maken
getting to know each other and checking whether the time is right
een geslaagede dekking
a well done mating

The pregnancy

After the cover, the fertilized egg cells move in the direction of the uterine wall and will arrive there five to eight days later, to attach themselves around the 17th day. The uterus of the dog consists of two parallel horns; in each of the two horns the eggs will attach and the pups will grow. During the first four weeks of gestation, fetal growth is very slow and little or no changes in the bitch are noticeable. Some bitches become more cuddly; others are somewhat listless. In a single case the bitch does not feel well, has little appetite and can regularly spit. Some females have some erratic eating habits; sometimes they do not want anything, at other times they continue to hunger hungry and even steal food if possible. These eating habits generally change around the sixth week of gestation. The spitting is over and from that time on she will want more and more food, often up to a third more than usual. However, a certainty about the pregnancy can only be obtained from the 28th day after the cover by ultrasound.
echo emilka2
the ultrasound picture
Uterus dwarsdoorsnede 10 pups dag 30
A cross section of a uterus with fetus of 30 days old.
Around the fourth and fifth week, the mammary glands begin to develop visibly. The nipples become larger, softer and darker. By the seventh week, the nipples become so large that they eventually become heavy. Some watery milk can come out of the nipples; the hair around the nipples and the belly is completely out. In the nipples there are small plugs that protect the bitch against nipple inflammation. It is advisable not to pinch the nipples and thus to push out these protective plugs. In the fifth week of gestation the embryo has 1% of the birth weight. In this period the embryos that lie just behind the ribs as coffee beans are palpable with petite, relaxed bitches. This action is difficult to perform with thicker, big bitches. A slight expansion of the body will also be visible around this time
zus 5wk3
5 weeks pregnant
week 6 5
6 weeks pregnant

The biggest change takes place around the 42nd day, especially if the bitch is wearing a lot of puppies. Because of the enormous expansion of the two uterine horns, these will collapse, causing the bitch to undergo a drastic change. She is now clearly pregnant.
9 wk dracht
8 weeks pregnant of a liiter of 8 pups
The bone is formed by the 50th day. Around this time the puppies can be seen moving when the bitch is relaxed. The bitch begins to observe herself; frolicking with other dogs is (mostly) off the track and she will demand less physical activity. It is important to shorten the daily walks, but to ensure that the dog continues to have sufficient exercise. The total gestation lasts for 63 days, but it is not uncommon for females to start from the 58th day, or only on the 65th day. With a gestation period of 56-58 days one speaks of a premature birth or abortion. The puppies are not viable. If the gestation period is longer than 67 days, there is a danger that the pups have become so large that the bitch can no longer drive them out and a Caesarean section becomes necessary.

The birth

An approaching birth usually announces itself with the uneasy search of the bitch to a place to cast her boy. Some bitches become very restless, try to dig holes in the garden and shred newspapers or cloths to build a nest. Yet the actual birth can still take days to wait. Most bitches will take little or no food from about 24 hours before they are shed. They want to go outside more often to empty the intestines and the restless search changes into an absolute period of rest. The body temperature decreases with a whole degree and even more. At this time, the throwing can be approximated by regularly checking the bitch at temperature. A few hours before birth the temperature will slowly rise to the normal. This behavior is similar to the total shutdown of the engine for a final service, before slowly increasing its strength and running at full speed at the time of birth. In veterinary medicine, it is assumed that throwing starts with the first strong presswee. From that moment on the bitch has to throw the first puppy within an hour or more. In the first phase of casting, the vulva becomes thick and moist and dilates. There is a big discharge and it can happen that the bitch loses some amniotic fluid. The hormones cause the cervix to dilate and the pups to lie in the right position to descend along the uterine horns. This can be done with the cup down, but also in breech presentation. Just before the birth, a wave of amniotic fluid comes out (amniotic fluid in dogs is bright green in color), soon followed by a pup in the fleece. The pup is connected to the placenta with the umbilical cord and comes out at a later time. This can be right after birth, or just before the next birth. It is advisable to monitor and count the number of placentas. That is not always easy because the bitch can eat the placentas fairly quickly, even from the vagina can eat so they remain invisible to the breeder. However, this check is important, to ensure that no placentas remain in the womb. These can give the bitch a huge uterine inflammation, which can make her sick. After birth, the bitch will bite the umbilical cord and release the pup from the membranes, after which he will start using his lungs and breathing will start. This wondrous creature generally finds his way directly to the nipples to take a suck.

Many bitches of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi breed can independently and without assistance help a birth. However, this is not always the case. Comparisons with bitches without the proximity of the breeder and bitches that receive the support and any necessary help from the breeder show that the birth rate in the first category is on average 20% higher. Help can be needed at any time and be lifesaving. It is possible that the bitch does not bite the umbilical cord and leaves the pup in the membranes. At that moment the breeder must help this puppy to prevent the pup from dying of lack of oxygen. Usually the bitch takes up the thread again with a next puppy and does not need help. In general, the puppies are born with an interval of 20 minutes to an hour. Sometimes it can take a bit longer, but if the bitch is calm and has no contractions, it is not worrying. If the birth of a puppy does not last longer than two hours and the bitch is restless, it may be that the pup can not get through the cervix. It can also happen that a dead puppy in the cervix hinders the road for a next puppy. Quick help is needed here if you do not want to lose one or more pups. It is advisable to warn the vet as soon as possible, so that by administering a Piton syringe (the agent oxytocin) he can strengthen the contractions and bring them back on track. If this is not the case, then intervention is necessary and the veterinarian will have to use a cesarean section.

Weakening weakness

Weakening weakness can be a hereditary disorder, but that is not always the case. The age of the bitch can also play a role, but also a very large or very small number of puppies can be a cause. There are two types of contractions weakness.

Primary contractions weakness: the bitch does not start shedding, although the day she is finished has passed well. This can have several causes. It is possible that the bitch has very few pups or only one puppy, so the contractions do not start. It is also possible that the bitch has so many puppies that the elasticity of the uterus becomes so small that the contractions do not get going well either.

There may also be physical causes. The bitch may have a deformed pelvis - often after an accident or trauma - so the birth route is not spacious enough. It is also possible that the cervix does not open properly or that there is insufficient relaxation of the birth route. An uterus that is too active can impede the expulsion because the activity does not go well coordinated, the uterus cramps convulsively, as a result of which there may be a lack of oxygen, since the placentas get a worsened blood flow. In these cases, a caesarean section is the only way to save the puppies from a certain death.

Secondary contractions of weakness: some puppies have already been born and the bitch has stopped shedding. The bitch may have become exhausted after the birth of several puppies and ceased her attempts at squeezing.

It can happen that a puppy has a side position, a transverse or supine position. A deviating location of the limbs can also occur. Usually this wrong location is the case with puppies that are already dead before the birth has started. Here too, a caesarean section is the only way to save the puppies, and often the mother dog, from a certain death.

Problems in the first weeks
problemen eerste wk
1 minute old litter

Eclampsia is also called maternal madness, the mother climbs against the walls, as it were, and can, in case of inattentiveness of the breeder, damage the pups and even bite them! Collampsia can occur due to a deficiency of calcium in lactating bitch, or a shortage or an incorrect calcium / phosphorus ratio in the food. A seizure of eclampsia usually occurs between the second and the third week of lactation, when the puppies begin to drink a lot. The dog becomes restless and no longer gives milk. The bitch begins to lose interest in the puppies and no longer gives milk. Then the bitch shivers and shakes, she gets a high fever, after which she gets stiffened and a rigid look. She can fall to the floor and get an epileptic cramp attack. The cramps can last for several hours and the mortality in first-time bitches is about 10 to 30%. Tell the vet immediately who can give the dog a syringe with calcium and a sedative. We also cover the bitch on the head and neck with a damp cloth and keep this cloth moist, but beware of hypothermia of the bitch and make sure you get to the vet as soon as possible. If one does not intervene on time, the dog can fall into a coma and die. Nowadays, eclampsia is no longer so common due to the better composition of the current dog food, so it is important to ensure that the bitch receives sufficient and good nutrients. Eclampsia is more common in small breeds.

Fading Puppy Syndrome

After birth, it must be checked whether all puppies are intact. All openings of the pup must be open (anus and the like); the palate must be closed, the lungs free of fluid (amniotic fluid) and the puppies must be weighed. The average birth weight of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is between 180 and 250 grams. Fading Puppy Syndrome (puppy death syndrome) is a collective term for a number of disorders that lead to puppy deaths. In the case of puppy deaths, 28% of all live-born pups dies in the first week after birth, 10% in the second week. Several reasons are the cause. Examples are congenital abnormalities, cleft palate, underdeveloped organs, deviations of the heart and blood vessels, haemophilia, skeletal abnormalities, closed openings, such as the anus or narrowing of the esophagus. Congenital abnormalities can also take their toll.


The temperature in and around the whelping box must be 25 to 28 ºC in the first days of life and can be gradually reduced to 25 ºC to 23 ºC ten days after birth (depending on the size and health of the pups), to 18 - 20 ºC 25 days after birth. The humidity must be maintained at 55-60% if the body temperature is to be maintained at 39 ºC. After 3 weeks the humidity can be returned to normal (45%).


By placing the pups immediately after birth with the mother to drink, they receive as much colostrum as possible. This first mother's milk provides the puppy with the essential antibodies to be protected against infections from outside. A pup who does not want to drink can get too low blood sugar with consequent hypothermia. Is the bitch unable to care for one or more pups; or is a puppy too weak to drink independently, then intervention is necessary. There are several high-quality products on the market that can substitute the lactation milk. Whole cow's milk is unsuitable as substitute cow's milk because of an inadequate protein and fat content and too high a sugar content. Goat milk is an excellent substitute!

Milk poisoning

It is assumed that two reasons can be the cause of milk poisoning. The main reason is often a mother's uterus infection, which can cause bacteria to enter the blood and milk. Also by giving too much mineral-rich and raw fiber-poor feed to the bitch before birth, the intestinal function can be slowed down and rotting bacteria can enter the blood and milk. Milk poisoning causes blood poisoning in the pups. Unless there is immediate intervention, the puppies will die. Symptoms in the puppies are green diarrhea, a red and swollen anus, vomiting and dehydration and an incessant lamentation. Mortality can occur within 36 hours.

Infectious causes of puppy death
Infectueuze oorzaken van puppysterfte
The incessant crying / wheezing of a pup, who crawls aimlessly through the nest can be an indication that something is seriously wrong with the puppy. Healthy puppies only cry when the mother dog sits on them, or when they are too cold or too hot. The crying of a sick puppy is often heartbreaking and goes through marrow and leg. The seemingly healthy pup suddenly changes behavior, throws the cup from left to right and is continuously moving through the coffin. It does not want to drink anymore and wails in one piece; which makes the mother dog desperate. Infections can be the cause. Especially weaker puppies are susceptible to infections, often caused by viruses or bacteria.

Virus infections

Dog disease or distemper virus. This virus generally leads to abortion or non-viable pups. This virus can be reduced to an extremely rare disease by vaccinating the bitch in time.

Parvo. This virus has not been known for very long. It was not until 1979 that people talked about the deadly parvovirus for the first time. If a puppy becomes infected with this virus, it is likely that all littermates also become ill; the virus is almost always fatal for the very young puppies that are still in the nest. By properly vaccinating the bitch, the puppies are generally well protected against this disease because they get enough antibodies through the milk. Puppies that are raised with the bottle are considerably more susceptible. The incubation period of the disease runs from 7 to 14 days. The virus is transmitted via the stool of sick or recovering animals. The disease can also be transmitted through clothing and / or footwear. Usually the infection occurs in puppies around five to six weeks, at the moment that the puppy has fewer antibodies. Most pups die within five days; a pup that survives the disease separates the virus from the stool for three to four weeks.

HCC virus or Hepatitis Contagiosa Canis. The HCC virus is one of the most common viruses that cause puppy death. Abortion can occur with the pregnant bitch. Puppies often die within a few hours without any noticeable symptoms. Healing is rare, as people can generally intervene too late, especially in cases of acute nature. During healing, symptoms of clouding of the retina often occur (eye abnormality). By means of a good vaccination program of the mother dog, the disease can be prevented as well.

Bacterial infections

In addition to congenital abnormalities, bacterial infections are the main causes of puppy death. Different bacteria can be the culprit here. To name a few: Streptococci, Staphylococci, Salmonella, Brucella and the E-coli. The E-coli bacteria is often resting in the uterus of the bitch and is a much observed phenomenon, especially in larger kennels with several bitches. By means of a smear on the first day of heat, the infected bitch can be detected and given an antibiotic treatment. Infected bitches that do not undergo a course of treatment can get resorption, abortion or a high number of pups that are stillborn.

Brucella. Brucellosis is a highly contagious disease and of a particularly serious nature. The bacteria are transmitted by contaminated meat and the disease is generally fatal, especially for pups. They will die within a few hours. In the pregnant bitch Brucella leads to abortion, preterm birth or even to the death of the bitch.
A very healthy litter of 8 Y Ddraig Goch puppies
Sat, 4th February 2023

Y Ddraig Goch



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  • Last Updated: Tuesday 31 January 2023, 07:41:30.